He made the pledge at an event held at Holyrood by The National Autistic Society
As part of its Too Much Information campaign, the charity is asking people across
Scotland to learn about autism and the small changes they can make to their behaviour
to be more autism-friendly.
Alasdair Allan said he was pleased to support the campaign and hopes people across
the Western Isles will take time to learn about autism, a condition which affects
around one in 100 people.
He added: “Despite the fact virtually everyone has heard of autism, just 15% of people
with autism believe the condition is understood in a meaningful way.
“There is a lot of work to be done to widen the public understanding of autism and
help people realise there are small changes they can make to their behaviour that
make a big difference to autistic people.”
Research has revealed that 66% of autistic people feel socially isolated, and 44%
sometimes don’t go out because they are worried about how others will react to their
Jenny Paterson, director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, said: “Autistic
people and their families have told us that increased understanding is the single
biggest thing that would improve their lives.
“That’s why we’re asking people to take time to learn about the small changes they
can make to their behaviour that make a big difference – such as avoiding jargon
and showing patience when others seem stressed or anxious.”
Around 58,000 people in Scotland are autistic. Together with their families they
make up around 232,000 people whose lives are touched by autism every single day.